Thunderstorms surrounded the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater in Tampa, Florida August 20, 2022. The amphitheater is located on The Florida State Fairgrounds. The rain drizzled and lightning flashed horizontally in the sky continuously with periodic breaks of full down pours lasting only a few minutes. This is typical weather that blows in from The Gulf of Mexico in late summer and these fans were not going to be denied their fun regardless of the atmospheric conditions all around them. They were here to be entertained by line-up of Dierks Bentley, Ashley McBryde, and Travis Denning. The sold out crowd left the tailgating in the parking lot and headed into the venue after a 30 minute delay as the gates were finally opened.
Upon entering the “Amp” as it’s called locally, it was a bit different than any show that I have attended there. Gone were the photo pit photographers fondly call “The Office.” Instead, Live Nation expanded the pit area and sold it as a V.I.P. section in front of the stage that was standing room only. A DJ, named AYDamn was on stage and whipping the packed V.I.P. section into a frenzy. The energy was electrifying the crowd in the seated sections of the venue. They were dancing and having the time of their lives. The DJ played before the show and also while the stage was being changed over between bands. I must admit it was genius as the fans were tucked under the tarp and were ignoring the weather just 100 yards away, without a care in the world.
AYDamn played a huge variety from The Village People to Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Amphitheater was amped with singing and dancing the entire evening. I guess this has been going on for years as there were videos on YouTube when I researched it. It really got the crowd fired up and kept them engaged.
Travis Denning started the live music with an energized eight country music songs. Completing his set with “A.B.B.Y (Anybody But You)” off his 2021 release Dirt Road Down and the final song being his first number one hit, “After a Few” off his initial album Beer’s Better Cold, which was released and went Platinum in 2020. The future is bright for this 29 year old artist out of Georgia and he understands that his live show is just as important as the songs he sings.
1.) Call It Country
2.) Red Round Here
3.) David Ashley Parker From Powder Springs
4.) Tank of Gas and a Radio Song
5.) Buy A Girl A Drink
6.) Dirt Road Down
7.) A.B.B.Y (Anybody But You)
8.) After a Few
Ashley McBryde is a bona fide star has skyrocketed from her initial entrance on the country music scene, by winning the Academy of Country Music Awards New Female Vocalist of the Year 2018! The first time I saw Ashley was in 2019 at a festival in Kissimmee, Florida. She is more comfortable and has complete control of the stage which holds six band members. One of the coolest parts of the show was when the five guitarists tightened up and played in a line with Ashley in the middle.
She is part country and part rock n roll with an infectious smile that delivers her powerful vocals that you could listen to for hours. I believe Ashley will be returning to the Country Thunder festival in Kissimmee this year in the fall and I can’t wait to see her perform again!
1.) Martha Divine
2.) El Dorado
3.) American Scandal
4.) Whiskey and Country Music
6.) Never Will
7.) A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega
8.) Voodoo Doll
9.) Tired of Being Happy
10.) The Boys of Summer (Don Henley cover)
12.) One Night Standards
13.) Livin’ Next to Leroy
14.) Midnight Rider (The Allman Brothers Band cover)
The stage was barely lit as the music was being played by two guitarists posing as book ends on the stage in heavy blue light. After about three minutes the stage exploded in light with the band on stage and “What Was I Thinkin'” kicked off the show as the crowd roared. A Dierks Bentley show comes with plenty of energy and a bit of back and forth with the audience the entire show.
Ashley McBryde made an appearance in the middle of the set joining in on “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” and staying on the stage as the opener, Travis Denning, joined her and Dierks Bentley in singing “Bad Angel.” Ashley vacated the stage and Travis stayed out and sang one more song, “Beers On Me.” But, the highlight of the show was when Dierks’ oldest daughter Evie, joined him on stage to perform a duet of Pink’s song called “All I Know So Far.” At 13 years old, this young lady is fearless as she has joined daddy in front of crowds more than 20,000 people, and she has a very good voice to boot. He made a crack in the mic, “it couldn’t be one of mine?” “or maybe even a country song?” I hope I don’t forget the words. Which got a laugh from the audience.
The show appeared to be a bit calmer than when I saw him last year, as Dierks brought bring a fan on stage to shoot a beer. The sold out amphitheater definitely got their money’s worth as the 20 song set was followed by a four song encore by Dierks Bentley’s alter ego band, the long haired Hot Country Knights! A full night of entertainment at The Amp, back lit with Mother Nature’s lightning, with a happy crowd dancing and singing for hours. This was a great show and a great evening!
1.) What Was I Thinkin’
2.) Burning Man
3.) I Hold On
6.) Woman, Amen
8.) I’m Working on a Building
9.) Up on the Ridge
10.) The Devil Went Down to Georgia (The Charlie Daniels Band cover) (with Ashley McBryde)
11.) Bad Angel (with Ashley McBryde) (also with Travis Denning)
12.) Beers On Me (with Travis Denning)
14.) Lot of Leavin’ Left to Do / Come a Little Closer / Settle for a Slowdown (Acoustic, as a trio)
16.) All I Know So Far (P!nk cover) (with Evie Bentley)
17.) Somewhere on a Beach
18.) Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)
20.) Drunk on a Plane
21.) T-R-O-U-B-L-E (Elvis Presley cover) (performing as Hot Country Knights)
22.) She’s in Love With the Boy / Should’ve Been A Cowboy / Cowboy Take Me Away / Blue Clear Sky / I Swear / Hard Workin’ Man / Bye Bye /
The Dance / I Hope You Dance / There Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong With the Radio (performing as Hot Country Knights)
23.) Man! I Feel Like a Woman! (Shania Twain cover) (performing as Hot Country Knights)
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Photographer and Editor/Founder of AllMusicMagazine.com. My love of live music has taken me to incredible experiences with the top bands of all time in stadium shows to the smallest venues with equally inspiring musicians. Using the medium of photography and my publication, these memories will last forever.